How to Sew Amish Quilt Patterns

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Anne Baley

    About the Author

    Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Endless Summer. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

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    Amish quilts are among the simplest designs to make, yet the attention to detail is the reason they are frequently regarded as works of art. Make your own Amish-style quilt by picking a classic pattern, sewing it in the traditional way and doing highly detailed quilting in classic styles to create a blanket worthy of heirloom status.

    Things You'll Need

    • 100% cotton fabric
    • Cotton thread
    • Needles
    • Pins
    • Scissors
    • Quilt hoop or frame

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    Pick your quilt pattern. Amish quilts are made from simple geometric forms such as squares and rectangles. Study samples of Amish quilts to decide which one you'd like to do. If this is your first quilt or if you are unsure of the style, pick a very simple design.

    Choose your fabric. Amish quilts are made of cotton or wool fabrics, but cotton fabrics work well, too. All Amish quilts are made of solid-color fabrics, rather than with prints. The colors are muted yet rich. Your quilt can have two or three colors or a wide variety, depending on your quilt pattern and your particular taste.

    Use scissors to cut out each individual patch, using cardboard or plastic templates for consistency. Old cereal boxes or margarine tub lids work well for cutting reusable templates.

    Sew the patches together to create your top, using the smallest and most even stitches that you can. Keep your seam allowances at an even quarter inch throughout the top.

    Make a fabric sandwich consisting of the backing fabric, the batting and then the top. Spread these out on a large table or clean floor. Baste the three layers together using large stitches or safety pins.

    Use a quilting hoop or frame to hold your fabrics while you quilt. This will make the fabric taut and easier to quilt and keep the three layers from shifting around.

    Do your quilting next. The quilt design is at least as important as the fabric design in an Amish quilt, so choose the pattern wisely. You may use an allover design such as hanging diamonds or a fan, or smaller motifs like pumpkin seeds. Don't be afraid to make the quilting elaborate and highly detailed within the Amish style, as these quilts are frequently quilted quite richly. Use small and even quilting stitches in an unobtrusive color.

    Finish your quilt by sewing the binding along all the edges, neatly slip-stitching it to the back of the quilt. Traditional Amish quilts don't generally have labels on them, but you may want to create one for your quilt. If you do, include such details as your name, the name of the quilt, the dates you began and finished the quilt, your location and any other important details about the quilt. Make the label small, and sew it to a back corner of the quilt.

    • Patterns with large, simple blocks make good teaching designs for beginning quilters.
    • Never use bright neon colors or prints, if you want an authentic Amish look.

    Photo Credits

    • Photo courtesy of SXC